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The KALW News Summer Journalism Program

Applications for our summer journalism program are now closed.

KALW is an NPR and BBC affiliate public radio station based in San Francisco that has a deep history of developing new and diverse public media talent. The KALW newsroom has been training audio journalists at all levels for nearly two decades. We’re nationally known for our training programs, and our network of alumni have gone on to work as producers on national networks including NPR, Stitcher, and Gimlet Media, and local and national shows like The California Report (KQED), Post Reports (Washington Post), and Into America (MSNBC).

Applications are currently open for our Summer Academy, a three-and-a-half-month journalism program that is a great opportunity for someone who has a basic level of experience producing radio features and wants to build on that in a supportive, collaborative newsroom. (If you're a total beginner, check out our nine-month Audio Academy that runs from September through June — applications open in March.)

The summer program is a free and unpaid training opportunity that requires a 16-20-hour weekly commitment from the end of May through mid-September. In addition to volunteering one day a week in our newsroom and working on reporting assignments, we offer five evening seminars covering topics that include:

  • Pitching 
  • Story structure
  • Editing in ProTools
  • Thinking in sound & scene
  • Digital production & engagement

About the program

You will be an integral part of the production of our daily news show, Crosscurrents. You’ll help with some newsroom tasks like fact-checking and research, while also pitching and producing newscast spots and short audio features (approximately 6-minute audio documentaries that include the use of sound and scene, like this). At the end of the program, you will also be invited to pitch at least one original feature story to our newsroom in exchange for a stipend. (You can find out more about our rates and how to contribute as a freelancer here.)

Start date: May 31, 2023
End date: September 14, 2023

The 16-20 hour-a-week commitment over the duration of the program includes a regularly scheduled 8-hour shift in our newsroom once a week (Monday–Thursday), and an additional 8-12 hours spent attending seminars and completing reporting assignments.

We do our best to accommodate individual schedules for newsroom days. All five evening seminars take place Wednesday evenings between 6:30 and 9 p.m in June and July. These are taught by our staff, who are experienced teachers and professionals in the field.

If you’re not able to commit for the full duration of the program, some exceptions may be possible — please explain more in your application. Enrollment in a college or university is not necessary to participate. This is an unpaid training opportunity, but we are able to partner with institutions that offer course credit or stipends.

About you

We’re looking for creative thinkers who are great writers and storytellers with a passion for reporting on diverse communities and ideally some knowledge of the Bay Area. Our newsroom is known for “going deeper” and telling nuanced, sound-rich stories. You will be:

  • Pitching, reporting, and producing original stories for broadcast and online distribution
  • Interviewing potential guests/sources
  • Researching topics
  • Fact-checking
  • Building skills in story structure, voicing, digital production, engineering, and sound design
  • Helping with administrative and production duties in our newsroom 

We’re looking for candidates that:

  • Have demonstrable experience interviewing, field recording, writing for radio, and digitally editing audio 
  • Are computer literate, especially with Macs and Google Docs
  • Are self-starters who can work independently and also enjoy collaboration
  • Are able to commit to a minimum of 16 hours a week during the internship, including one regularly-scheduled work day (Mon–Thu) at KALW’s studios in San Francisco
  • Slick dance moves appreciated, but not required!